SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is installing new, hi-tech screens that select ads based on the age range of customers - and determining whether they are male or female - above the checkouts in 450 petrol stations.
The hi-tech 'OptimEyes' devices have been developed by Lord Alan Sugar's Amscreen in conjunction with a "face detection" specialist. The system tracks which customers are typically in the queue at certain times, and runs ads based on the real time data.
Ads in the morning could run a Red Bull advert in the morning rush, and switch to advertising a women's monthly magazine if several women appear in the queue.
Simon Sugar, the son of Lord Sugar and chief executive of Amscreen, told industry magazine The Grocer: "Yes, it's like something out of Minority Report but this could change the face of British retal and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible."
He aded: "The OptimEyes does not store images or recognise people, but just works out gender and sorts customers into one of three age brackets."
Tesco believes OptimEyes will reach a weekly auidence of five million adults. The ads will run for up to 10 seconds on a 100-second loop.
Peter Cattell, category director for Tesco petrol stations told the Grocer: "The ability to tailor content based on time and location means this can be extremely useful and timely for interacting with our customers."
The move is the latest bid by Britain's biggest store groups to use ground-breaking technology to boost sales. The country's biggest shopping centres monitor customer movements by tracking their GPS signal when they sign up for free, WiFi in the malls.
The Daily Telegraph in August revealed that Waitrose was looking at using mobile phone GPS technology to spot when customers get close to their stores - so they can prepare their shopping orders. Separately Barclays Bank last month began tracking customer transactions to sell "trend" data onto other companies.